Innovative PhD programme becomes official UN Ocean Decade Action

On World Ocean Day in June 2021, a unique Norwegian-Pacific PhD Scholarship Programme was picked as one of the first 60 UN Ocean Decade Actions worldwide and one of three Norwegian actions.



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This announcement came as part of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030, which ties in with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on the ocean’s own SDG14 – Life below water.

The University of Bergen and the University of South Pacific partnered for the interdisciplinary Norway-Pacific Ocean Climate (N-POC) Scholarship Programme, which will see 24 PhDs from Pacific island states educated on the ocean-climate nexus. N-POC was financed directly by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Norhed II programme administered by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

  • In the video above, PhD Candidate Miriam Ladstein at the University of Bergen and a member of the Bergen Pacific Studies group speaks about the N-POC programme.

When the announcement of the first set of Ocean Decade Actions was made on World Ocean Day – 8 June 2021, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) wrote that there are currently close to 500 ocean dead zones covering more than 245,000 km² globally. The chosen actions will lead transformational changes on climate change impacts and advance the fight against marine pollution.